William “Billy” Barton Mason, Jr., was born in Orange County and excelled on the athletic fields and in the classrooms of Woodberry Forest. He graduated from the Naval Academy and entered the submarine service. He continued in his character when he was honored by the Secretary of the Navy for bravery aboard ship during a fire. His life was lost along with his crew in an assumed explosion.
Contributed by Paul Carter, with the Orange County Historical Society, for more information about their mission, resources, programs and to buy books, visit www.orangecovahist.org.